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Thread: Secular law is better than Godís law. How did that happen?

  1. #1 Secular law is better than Godís law. How did that happen? 
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    Secular law is better than Godís law. How did that happen?

    You do not have to b e a rocket scientist to recognize that Secular law has bested Religious laws.

    This may be why even Muslims and Christians are choosing Secular laws when available.

    Why?

    Because Secular law is more forgiving and logical as opposed to Religious law.

    Secular law demands and allows equality of women, Gays and slaves. Religious laws do not yet do not give a good logic trail for discriminating against these sub groups of our societies.

    As our knowledge of life has increased, Secular laws have evolved and improved as opposed to Religious laws that have been stagnant and fixed over time.

    This stagnation of old laws ensure that over time, Secular laws will win out over Religious laws for our hearts and minds.
    As they should.

    I do recognize the good that Churches do in terms of community but if they do not evolve their laws, they are bound to fail. This is likely why most religions have split into various sects depending on the secular progression of the individual communities and religious sects. Most religions today have their hot , medium or soft adherents and sects and this split insures that secularism will increase while religions will shrink.

    Are religious laws too entrenched and harsh?
    Are secular laws too soft?
    Looking at the big picture, am I correct in stating that secularism will win out over religions?
    If secularism does win, is that a good thing?
    Are women, Gays and slaves better served by secularism or religion?

    Regards
    DL


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    Yes. Secular laws are better. The reason is because they are grounded in today's needs. They are flexible and change to meet changing requirements.

    Religious laws are usually based on some venerable old sacred text, such as the bible or the koran. Parts of the bible would have been written, perhaps 3000 years ago, and met the needs of a very primitive and barbaric culture (by today's standards). The koran was written 1600 years ago, and met the needs of its followers at the time and place it was written. Both are now utterly obsolete, and do not meet today's needs any more. Indeed, some of the laws in both texts are utterly cruel and barbaric.

    Theocracies are the worst of all possible forms of government, basically because of the weaknesses of humans. In a democracy, if the ruling group are shown to be wrong, they get booted out. In a theocracy, if the ruler(s) are wrong, they claim religious infallibility and continue to mete out injustice. It is not in human nature to admit fault, and in a theocracy, the ruler(s) do not have to.


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    We've done away with a lot of the collective violence of the Bible. The hatred advocated by the Bible works best in a more primitive 'us vs them' society. We don't condone wiping out whole societies because they are 'wicked'. Towns are no longer destroyed because folks have their own beliefs and refuse to kiss God's butt...or later to kiss Jesus' ass.

    Our laws have evolved to reflect the nuances of a modern culture. Simplistic 'good vs evil' doesn't work when complex societies are integrated and the 'us' and the 'them' are no longer as quickly defined. 'Accept Jesus or else'..works in a primitive agrarian culture but not in a highly technological one. And this leads to laws not being black and white....degrees of acceptability are reflected by laws that allow modern society to function. There is no single answer on theft, adultery, killing, blasphemy,etc. Everything becomes circumstance dependent. Western cultures have been able to shed the restraints of religious law as we modernize. Unfortunately, for much of the Muslim world, religious law still has a grip...and those societies have great difficulty adapting to present technology.
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    Religious laws appeared like mutations and stuck because they just worked. Groups possessing certain sets of laws, like genes, were better adapted. Why the laws worked was beyond our comprehension. Cultural laws are similar, except that insightful individuals may understand them. Secular laws are supposedly transparent to all, and of popular initiative.

    So the issue I think is whether or not we want to be conscious of our laws, and in control of them. Blind evolution - with the laws controlling us - has proven effective. Many feel they're smarter than that.

    I often point out that we don't really understand the grounds of our secular laws much better than religious ones. For example we can say bad guys deserve life in prison, but do we really understand what makes a bad guy bad? I think that all societies, including secular societies, must not address some core questions.

    An advantage in religion is religion doesn't pretend accountability.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Secular laws are voted on by the majority of people or their democratically elected representives. So it should come as no surprise that the majority of people in that society would prefer them to any other laws. So if your definition of "better" is "preferred by the majority" then the answer to your question is trivial. This does not make the laws better in any objective sense.

    If you have a different definition of "better" I would love to hear it. In a "Scientific Study of Religion" forum, you really should define your terms.
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    Let me reiterate.

    Religious laws do not change, because they are based on unchanging texts. Secular laws change all the time, and thus respond to humanity's changing needs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Religious laws do not change, because they are based on unchanging texts.
    Ah, but dear skeptic, the interpretation of them may change. Now are you going to condemn the religious for showing the flexibility that is praised when it is applied to secular law? I surely hope not. And if not, then I don't rightly see that secular law is necessarily any better, or any worse than religious law.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Let me reiterate.

    Religious laws do not change, because they are based on unchanging texts. Secular laws change all the time, and thus respond to humanity's changing needs.
    Agreed. Well put.

    Fortunately society in Western nations has moved beyond the mythology part of the Christian religion. Small 'c' Christian values remain to provide a common ideology but the variables determining the evolution of society in future will be based on pragmatic needs. We've actually made a fairly smooth transition from text-based religious dogma to Modernity.

    Decisions to do with the place of women in society , abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, science education and so forth are being and will be shaped by debates involving empirical variables and not just 'right vs wrong' as extrapolated by words written centuries ago in a book.

    A quote attributed to Jesus doesn't hold a lot more sway today in large segments of society than does one by Groucho Marx or Bart Simpson.
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    True Path

    I assume you are a Christian.
    I have no problem with that, and even though I am an agnostic, I regard Yeshua ben Yosef (now called Jesus Christ), to be one of the greats in history in terms of developing and promoting a superior ethical system.

    Our good mate Yeshua tended to present his ethics in general terms of love, forgiveness, mercy, charity etc. Wonderful!

    The problem lies with the idiotic fact that the early Christian church decided to adopt the Talmud (now called the Old Testament) instead of doing the truly Christian thing, and rejecting it as the outdated and utterly barbaric set of laws that it is. I understand why they kept the old package of garbage, but that does not justify the act.

    Both the Old Testament and the Koran are totally and complety irrelevent in today's world and their laws should be dumped. Those laws were suited to their time and place, but that was a different and much more barbaric and cruel world. We should not be saddled with them today. Let us go with the flexible and much more humanitarian laws we use in the modern West.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Let me reiterate.

    Religious laws do not change, because they are based on unchanging texts. Secular laws change all the time, and thus respond to humanity's changing needs.
    Reiterate as you wish, you have still not proven secular laws are "better."

    Even if one were to concede that secular laws are more adaptable (which has not been demonstrated) one could easily make a case that that is a bad thing.
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    Harold

    As an American you should appreciate the changes to the USA Constitution, a secular document. Currently 27 amendments, in just over 300 years. And new laws passed every year. And old laws erased. If this is not flexibility and adaptation, I do not know what is!

    On the other hand, the 3,000 year old laws in the Old Testament about killing homosexuals, stoning adulteresses, prohibiting you from eating shellfish, and a whole raft of other cruel, barbaric, or downright stupid laws, are still current. If you believe in the sanctity of the bible, or are Jewish, you are still required to obey these idiotic laws.

    If laws that are so patently wrong, remain current for 3,000 years, this shows the lack of adaptability and flexibility of biblical (or koranic) law, and the superiority of secular law.
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    No, Harold is right, you are demonstrating that human desires change, not that the laws governing those people need to change to suit desire. You really must define you're use of the word better, as it leads to confusion when you simply apply a vague concept to something such as this. How do you quantify what makes one law better than another? Adaptation to desire doesn't mean better, you can look at ancient Greece for a prime example of why desires and laws don't mingle too well. Laws shouldn't have to change as often as they do, and the fact that they change so much shows how inefficient they are. The laws of the western world are not, in all right, necessarily better than the laws of the old testament. We like them less, but that doesn't mean they didn't do a better job of maintaining a sense of justice.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    Arcane

    There are no absolutes in this. Human laws, like human technology, are designed to meet human needs. My use of the word 'better' in this debate, refers to the ability to meet human needs. And those needs change.

    For example ; today we have a degree of tolerance to such things as homosexuality that has never existed before. Where, 3000 years ago, it might have made sense to kill them on sight, today we understand that those people simply have a different orientation to sex. They are still just as human as us heterosexuals. Our needs have changed, and secular law changed to meet those needs.

    Of course, it is very common for people of strongly religious bent to believe in absolutes. They believe in an unchanging God, and unchanging rules of good and evil. Thus, they believe that if an Old Testament law such as "stone the adulteress" once applied, it must always apply. I am not religious and cannot agree with that viewpoint.

    The bible claims that God said : "Go forth and multiply." Today we have 6.5 billion people and growing. The new law should say : "reproduce, but only up to 2.3 children per couple." Needs change, and laws should change accordingly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Secular laws change all the time, and thus respond to humanity's changing needs.
    Some people noted that changing all the time is not necessarily good.

    Humans have this flaw: When we find ourselves in a position incongruous with our beliefs, we often change our beliefs rather than change our position.

    Adaptable secular law may get carried away, because like a banker's scheme it's untethered. It's whatever seems at the moment to promise the greatest happiness (or utility, or dollars). For example: As a society we are very near allowing a cat lady to marry her maine coon. Because the pet clearly loves her intently, and she it, till death do they part for certain. Isn't this, to secular thinking, what marriage is all about?

    Religious law is arbitrary yeah and stubborn but it is grounded. It'll say what marriage is, and isn't. So you can build a life around that, one way or another.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Harold

    As an American you should appreciate the changes to the USA Constitution, a secular document. Currently 27 amendments, in just over 300 years.
    The Constitution changes not only by amendment but by changing interpertation and by out-and-out flouting of its provisions. You would be hard pressed to find a Constitutional basis for the Cash for Clunkers law. Our Founding Fathers would have thought we were insane.

    Likewise, not many people nowadays justify the Inquisition or slavery on the basis of scripture, yet the scripture did not change.

    Implicit in the title of this thread is the idea that secular law is a substitute for religion. I don't think that was the intent of the people who established the secular governments, many of whom were religious.

    I'm still not seeing much "scientific study" here. It still looks a lot like the old religion forum. IMO the words "better", "cruel", "barbaric", "stupid" etc., do not belong in a scientific discussion.
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    It isn't really a matter of flexibility, and ability to change. It has more to do with our Liberal values (and that's big "L" liberal as in valuing equality under the law). Once people in England 300 years ago came up with the idea that people should be equal under the law, secular laws become more apparently compatible with our concept of "people" today.

    Another reason why I would personally value secular law over religious law is an at least moderate attempt to justify them logically.
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    Ifeeltired,

    You live in Montreal, Quebec and I live in Calgary, Alberta. Quebec and Alberta are the least religious jurisdictions in North America. Lowest church attendance, lowest religious affiliation, etc. Social attitudes around us are more like those in western Europe than those in the USA. You are Canadian...do you know the religion of the Prime Minister? the name of his wife or her religion? You would have to make a guess...I personally have no idea of the religion of the PM, our provincial Premier or the Mayor.

    In contrast American posters live in a country where their Presidential candidates actually have to go to church during an election. The population cares about these things. Somehow it makes the President more 'moral' or 'one of us'. Obama and Clinton have to fake it and give lip service to Jesus...a lot of intelligent americans know they are probably faking it but they don't speak out. It's like the Emperor's New Clothes. Americans 'want' to believe as much as they actually believe. This way the values (reflected in laws) stay legitimate. There's more outrage over 5 second exposure of Janet Jackson's nipple than some head being chopped off on TV. Family values still equate with christian values. Religious based laws still have more clout than in other western democracies. Debates over gay marriage, abortion, evolution, etc. still have blatant religious input at court level.

    The irony is that the USA, the western society that was once the most diligent in separating church and state is the one that in the 21st century still has the most pervasive Christian mythology influence. Your province, Quebec, in contrast was once was steeped in the influence of the Catholic Church, but today is the least influenced by christian mythology.

    Bottom line. There is a lot of variation across western societies re religious and secular influence in laws. We all retain a lot of small 'c' christian values but the Americans are still influenced by actual mythology...creation, angels, 'good vs evil', floods, the Apocalypse, dead Jesus rising, etc.
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    Harold

    Your religious beliefs are your own business, and I am not trying to address them. Merely talking about secular versus religious law.

    It appears that we agree that secular law changes while religious law does not. However, you seem to think that the unchanging nature of religious law is a good thing?

    I cannot agree with that. Everything about human culture changes. If you lived in England 1000 years ago, you would think you were on another planet! You could not even talk to, or understand the citizens, since their language has changed. Their values, behaviours, attitudes etc were all wildly different.

    Even 174 years ago. Here in New Zealand, at that time, a group of Maori paid a French sailing captain to take them to a group of offshore islands, where they slaughtered most of the occupants and enslaved the rest. The European government of the time ruled that they were merely carrying out a venerable Maori tradition, and could not be made culpable for those murders. Imagine such a legal decision today?

    Everything about human culture changes, and the laws must change also, to adapt to the other changes.
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    skeptic, you're points aren't on target. You are taking an arbitrary concept of better in regards to law. Human needs don't change. Human desire does. Laws should accommodate the needs, not the desires.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    Arcane

    If you prefer, we can call it perceived human needs.

    Human perception of needs does change. And dramatically. Name another time in history when people thought they needed a laptop. That is a trivial example, but illustrates the fact that modern society is dramatically different to any time in the past, and our perceived needs change accordingly.

    Barack Obama is currently embarking on a program to meet modern human needs in relation to health care. This entails, among other things, a whole raft of changes in American law. Since this health care was not available 3000 years ago when much of the Old Testament was written, there was no perception of what Obama is doing as meeting any kind of need.

    Society changes. Our way of life changes. Our perceived needs change. And laws must change also. It is the fixed nature of religious laws that makes them inferior. How relevent today is : "Do not covet your neighbour's donkey?" Or even "Do not bow down to any graven image." Except the cross at the front of a church, of course!

    Sure, some secular laws are less than perfect. There are many I would like to change. However, they are far better at meeting modern perceived needs than biblical or koranic law.

    Take slavery. You may not realise this, but there is no objection to slavery anywhere in the bible. Not even my old buddy Yeshua voiced any opposition. There are a couple of bits talking about the proper way to treat a slave, but that is far from being anti-slavery. In fact, the old slave owners in the American south used to use this fact as an excuse, and it probably slowed abolition. The silly thing is that religious law still does not prohibit slavery. Polygamy is another example of something wrong that is permitted by the bible. I think the koran also permits slavery and polygamy, but correct me if I am wrong.

    Secular law, of course, also once permitted slavery. Today it prohibits it. A clear example of how secular law with its ability to change is superior to religious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    It is the fixed nature of religious laws that makes them inferior. How relevent today is : "Do not covet your neighbour's donkey?"
    Hugely relevant, since it was understood then and is generally understood now that the donkey is symbolic of anything of value your neighbour has. Do you think the advice 'to not covet thy neighbour's possessions and success' is a good advice? (If not I fear for your wellbeing.) As such it wholly relevant today. (It just doesn't have to be Holy relevant.)

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Or even "Do not bow down to any graven image." Except the cross at the front of a church, of course!
    Get real. A cross is not a graven image. It helps if you understand what the words mean before you critique them.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Take slavery. You may not realise this, but there is no objection to slavery anywhere in the bible.
    Point 1: Slavery was a perfectly honourable and comparatively satisfying condition to be in during past times. Consider the Mamelukes as a single example. Much of the time slavery was no more trying relative to other conditions than is the life of a labourer in the West. (Which is what prompted Marx (?) to rattle on about wage slavery.)
    Point 2: Mark, chapter 12, verse 31 "And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
    That seems a pretty strong implicit condemnation of slavery.

    Polygamy is another example of something wrong that is permitted by the bible.
    What's wrong with polygamy? The observed sexual dimorphism in body size correlates in other species with practical promiscuity. Polygamy provides one way of dealing with this innate human tendency.
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    Ophiolite

    Wow!!
    I have often observed that ultra-religious people do not seem to live in the real world. Boy, do you prove that point! Assuming you are religious, of course.

    Anyway, point by point, my response.

    1. Covetousness. Ignoring the 'donkey is a symbol' thing. Coveting is the same as 'wanting' or 'being envious of'. Now if you have never been guilty of that, you are not human. It is not a sin, or a crime. Coveting something is fine. We all do it. It only becomes a sin or crime when it goes beyond coveting and into action to obtain, if that action is illicit. This fact is recognised in secular law, but not the 10 commandments, which shows how silly they are.

    In fact, our entire modern economy could not work if people coveted nothing. We would all be hermits in the hills living on wild grass, or dead.

    2. "A cross is not a graven image". In the light of your 'donkey is a symbol' statement, this is quite humerous. If a donkey is a symbol in the covet commandment, then a cross is symbolically a graven image in the graven image commandment. You caint have it both ways.

    I read somewhere that ultra-orthodox Jews will not even put up a framed photo of their family, because to them, it is symbolically a graven image. In terms of this commandment, all the church icons are graven images, whether statues of the virgin Mary, or Christ on the cross, or even stained glass windows. I am not saying this is wrong. I am totally happy for the churches to put up whatever icons they please. I am saying that the 'graven image' commandment is silly.

    3. "Slavery was honorable". Man, are you in another world!!!!!
    Slavery was a means to work men to death and rape women, and it has always been that way. Slavery is downright evil and has always been so. You cannot justify it.

    4. The 'love thy neighbour' argument does have some merit, though it is a terribly weak one. It can be used alongside those bits in the bible about how to treat a slave as simply saying : "it is OK to keep slaves as long as you are not cruel to them". I understand why the bible has no prohibition of slavery. But the lack of such a commandment shows it is NOT a document for the ages. It was simply a document that had merit when it was written and for the people to whom it was written. That means the old time Jews for the Talmud part, and for Jews under Roman occupation for the gospels. Paul's writings were for a wider audience, but his writings have, in my opinion, much less merit than the gospels, betraying an ingrained bigotry. The teachings of my friend Yeshua are the only parts, IMHO, that really shine with merit, and even they do not condemn slavery.

    5. What is wrong with polygamy? Ask any woman. Polygamy is a way of exploiting women. To condone polygamy is to support the idea that women are an inferior bunch with no claim to human rights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    1. Covetousness. Ignoring the 'donkey is a symbol' thing. Coveting is the same as 'wanting' or 'being envious of'. Now if you have never been guilty of that, you are not human. It is not a sin, or a crime. Coveting something is fine. We all do it. It only becomes a sin or crime when it goes beyond coveting and into action to obtain, if that action is illicit. This fact is recognised in secular law, but not the 10 commandments, which shows how silly they are.
    Here you reveal two things. Firstly you have poor English comprehension. The problem is not in wanting a donkey, the problem is in wanting your neighbour's donkey. If you focus on your neighbour's donkey rather than on the hard work that would allow you to purchase your own donkey, you will likely remain donkeyless for all of your life. If you care to dip into one hundred years of psychological research you will find examples of this phenomenon dealt with in excruciating detail. Alternatively you could read a couple of self help books where you will see the same concepts addressed. The admonition against coveting your neighbour's donkey is practical and relevant because it goes to the root of human frailities and holds up a warning card.

    The second thing you ignore is that contemplating an action has many of the same effects phsyiologically and mentally as carrying out the action. This is so well understood that I have no intention of doing your research for you, shoudl you choose to ask for citations. Pick up any elementary textbook on the subject. So the the rather astute, knowledgeable and practical writers of that commandment didn't say don't steal your neighbour's donkey, they said, don't even think about wanting it.

    Since you quite missed the point of the commandment it is not surprising you dismissed it so readily.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    If a donkey is a symbol in the covet commandment, then a cross is symbolically a graven image in the graven image commandment. You caint have it both ways. .
    I don't have time to walk your through the Hebrew, but image is here very much the image of a person. So I can and shall have it both ways. (And I think you meant humorous, unless you thought I was bony as well as religious.)

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    In terms of this commandment, all the church icons are graven images, whether statues of the virgin Mary, or Christ on the cross, .
    Of course they are. Never did agree with the Church on that one.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    3. "Slavery was honorable". Man, are you in another world!!!!!
    Slavery was a means to work men to death and rape women, and it has always been that way. Slavery is downright evil and has always been so. You cannot justify it..
    You are a dogmatic little chap, aren't you? Where in my writing was I justifying it?
    I suggest you find out a little bit more about slavery in the ancient world before you start sounding off in such demonstrable ignorance. Just to give you a small hint please note the use of the comparative in my post.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    5. What is wrong with polygamy? Ask any woman. Polygamy is a way of exploiting women. To condone polygamy is to support the idea that women are an inferior bunch with no claim to human rights.
    You have a set of knee jerk reactions, don't you? So you think adultery, promiscuity, frequenting of prostitutes and such are superior solutions than polygamy? I tend to agree, but I just want to be sure you understand the implications of rejecting that particular option, as though that ensured proper respect for both sexes. (By the way are you equally opposed to polyandry? How exactly does that exploit women?)
    While we are at it, how would having say two wives be a limitation on their human rights? If they both agreed to the situation, without any coercion explicit, or implicit? How have their rights been abrogated?
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    Skeptic, You seem to have a twisted view here. Perceived human needs aren't actual human needs. That's the point. They're desires. Not necessary. What about these statements aren't crossing that threshold called your mind? To address a need is to address something that humans REQUIRE for life. Not something they want or "think they need". No one needs a laptop. No one needs a Phone. Producing laws governing these aren't necessary laws. Laws regarding Safety, Life, broad use of the word possessions, are however, more necessary. Behavior doesn't change, only the material does. Laws regarding behavior about materials in general, however, are timeless. As evidenced by the fact that the Holy Laws are, mostly, preserved in a relatively unchanged form in most western cultures.

    You can cry about it all you want, but your ideal on laws and justice is a bit silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    3. "Slavery was honorable". Man, are you in another world!!!!!
    Slavery was a means to work men to death and rape women, and it has always been that way. Slavery is downright evil and has always been so. You cannot justify it.
    Please cite a source for this. I disagree with you and agree with Ophiolite; he's right, slavery has NOT always been about rape and working people to death. That was a new concept 500 years ago. Antiquity, and History are great wiki sources to support us. Where is you're support?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    5. What is wrong with polygamy? Ask any woman. Polygamy is a way of exploiting women. To condone polygamy is to support the idea that women are an inferior bunch with no claim to human rights.
    Ummm.... Yeah... Cite a source please, because just like Ophi, I believe Polygamy, when entered into with full understanding and consent, is perfectly acceptable. The sexist bit is, as you said, dated, but the concept still stands firm. There is nothing wrong with polygamy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Please cite a source for this. I disagree with you and agree with Ophiolite; he's right, slavery has NOT always been about rape and working people to death. That was a new concept 500 years ago. Antiquity, and History are great wiki sources to support us. Where is you're support?
    I'll have to agree with skeptic on this one, the Bible explicitly states in Leviticus that if you beat a slave to death you'll receive a fine, but if he manages to stay alive long enough to die the next day there would be no punishment. I don't think the authors of Leviticus would have bothered to include guidelines on how to punish your slaves if this kind of behavior wasn't common. You must have a lot of faith in the honesty of records if you would think that women in any position of inferiority respective to a man would not be raped.

    Edit: You would find that slavery is not such a position of doom and gloom as we perceive it in any point in history. That doesn't mean it was ever good fun to be a slave. Especially if you weren't an Israelite and all your children were doomed to be slaves as well.
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    Thanks to tired and sleepy for the support.

    I have a local version of slavery. Here in NZ, the Maori in pre-European times (and even for a while post-European) took and kept slaves. Those slaves had no rights at all, and were often killed out of hand. Mind you, most of the slaves kept were female. Strangely, despite having no living husbands, they kept producing children, and strangely, those children were frequently adopted by the slave owner as his own. I am sure you are capable of deducing the obvious conclusion.
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    Thanks to tired and sleepy for the support.

    I have a local example of slavery to mention. Here in NZ, the Maori in pre-European times (and even for a while post-European) took and kept slaves. Those slaves had no rights at all, and were often killed out of hand. Mind you, most of the slaves kept were female. Strangely, despite having no living husbands, they kept producing children, and strangely, those children were frequently adopted by the slave owner as his own. I am sure you are capable of deducing the obvious conclusion.

    Re polygamy.
    I am not female and it would perhaps be reasonable to get a female member of this forum to express here views on how she would feel being just one of a set of wives with one husband. However, I have a pretty shrewd idea how most women would feel. Polyandry is no different.

    In some ways, this is a weird argument. It appears that Arcane and Ophiolite are arguming that laws need not ever change. If they are serious, that is a very strange world view. For example : biblical law contained no laws dealing with conservation issues. Does that mean that Arcane and Ophiolite believe that it is OK to keep on killing a species that has been reduced to the verge of extinction in the time since the biblical laws were written?

    Situations change, and laws must change accordingly. This is so obvious to me, I find it hard to see how anyone could argue against it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Please cite a source for this. I disagree with you and agree with Ophiolite; he's right, slavery has NOT always been about rape and working people to death. That was a new concept 500 years ago. Antiquity, and History are great wiki sources to support us. Where is you're support?
    I'll have to agree with skeptic on this one, the Bible explicitly states in Leviticus that if you beat a slave to death you'll receive a fine, but if he manages to stay alive long enough to die the next day there would be no punishment. I don't think the authors of Leviticus would have bothered to include guidelines on how to punish your slaves if this kind of behavior wasn't common. You must have a lot of faith in the honesty of records if you would think that women in any position of inferiority respective to a man would not be raped.

    Edit: You would find that slavery is not such a position of doom and gloom as we perceive it in any point in history. That doesn't mean it was ever good fun to be a slave. Especially if you weren't an Israelite and all your children were doomed to be slaves as well.
    I understand that, but you made the point I was trying to make yourself. "women in any position of inferiority respective to a man would not be raped." no just slaves, and not particularly slaves. Slavery wasn't about rape, they were independent conditions and events. No one ever said it was a good life, but it was a life in antiquity, and not the horror story that happened in modern times, comparatively speaking.

    That's the point, and Skeptic is disregarding that fact, IFTS.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    In some ways, this is a weird argument. It appears that Arcane and Ophiolite are arguming that laws need not ever change. If they are serious, that is a very strange world view. For example : biblical law contained no laws dealing with conservation issues. Does that mean that Arcane and Ophiolite believe that it is OK to keep on killing a species that has been reduced to the verge of extinction in the time since the biblical laws were written?
    over 99.9% of all species on earth are extinct. What's your point? Species die out all the time, and in no way are humans going to end all life on earth. Biologically speaking, there should be no laws on it, no. I'm not saying biblical laws are perfect, and neither is Ophi, but they are not 'inferior' to current laws, and in the eyes of Human needs, none of what you are bringing up matters.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Secular laws are voted on by the majority of people or their democratically elected representives. So it should come as no surprise that the majority of people in that society would prefer them to any other laws. So if your definition of "better" is "preferred by the majority" then the answer to your question is trivial. This does not make the laws better in any objective sense.

    If you have a different definition of "better" I would love to hear it. In a "Scientific Study of Religion" forum, you really should define your terms.
    Ok but all laws would need to be looked at individually for a clear answer.

    This is a bad law and almost any other way of dealing with this problem would be --better-- than what is offered.

    Deut 21

    18If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
    19Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
    20And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
    21And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    No, Harold is right, you are demonstrating that human desires change, not that the laws governing those people need to change to suit desire. You really must define you're use of the word better, as it leads to confusion when you simply apply a vague concept to something such as this. How do you quantify what makes one law better than another? Adaptation to desire doesn't mean better, you can look at ancient Greece for a prime example of why desires and laws don't mingle too well. Laws shouldn't have to change as often as they do, and the fact that they change so much shows how inefficient they are. The laws of the western world are not, in all right, necessarily better than the laws of the old testament. We like them less, but that doesn't mean they didn't do a better job of maintaining a sense of justice.
    The justice that some religions offer is do it my way or burn forever.
    Is this good justice?

    Especially when you consider that little unrepentant sinners must spend eternity with genocidal maniacs like Hitler, Stalin and God.

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    Opinions. Nothing but opinions. Where is the "scientific study"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Secular laws change all the time, and thus respond to humanity's changing needs.
    Some people noted that changing all the time is not necessarily good.

    Humans have this flaw: When we find ourselves in a position incongruous with our beliefs, we often change our beliefs rather than change our position.

    Adaptable secular law may get carried away, because like a banker's scheme it's untethered. It's whatever seems at the moment to promise the greatest happiness (or utility, or dollars). For example: As a society we are very near allowing a cat lady to marry her maine coon. Because the pet clearly loves her intently, and she it, till death do they part for certain. Isn't this, to secular thinking, what marriage is all about?

    Religious law is arbitrary yeah and stubborn but it is grounded. It'll say what marriage is, and isn't. So you can build a life around that, one way or another.
    I do not know about marriage but in religion, men are served much better than women. Then again most religions do not give woman equality. Hell, they do not give men of other religions equality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    skeptic, you're points aren't on target. You are taking an arbitrary concept of better in regards to law. Human needs don't change. Human desire does. Laws should accommodate the needs, not the desires.
    What need is being met when religion commands that we not wear two different blends of clothing or that we not eat shell fish?

    What need is being met when we are told to discriminate and denigrate Gays?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Thanks to tired and sleepy for the support.

    I have a local example of slavery to mention. Here in NZ, the Maori in pre-European times (and even for a while post-European) took and kept slaves. Those slaves had no rights at all, and were often killed out of hand. Mind you, most of the slaves kept were female. Strangely, despite having no living husbands, they kept producing children, and strangely, those children were frequently adopted by the slave owner as his own. I am sure you are capable of deducing the obvious conclusion.

    Re polygamy.
    I am not female and it would perhaps be reasonable to get a female member of this forum to express here views on how she would feel being just one of a set of wives with one husband. However, I have a pretty shrewd idea how most women would feel. Polyandry is no different.

    In some ways, this is a weird argument. It appears that Arcane and Ophiolite are arguming that laws need not ever change. If they are serious, that is a very strange world view. For example : biblical law contained no laws dealing with conservation issues. Does that mean that Arcane and Ophiolite believe that it is OK to keep on killing a species that has been reduced to the verge of extinction in the time since the biblical laws were written?

    Situations change, and laws must change accordingly. This is so obvious to me, I find it hard to see how anyone could argue against it.
    You will find some I am sure.
    Remember that many think that the genocide of man at the time of Noah was GOOD justice.
    There we have a God who cannot even follow His own law of not killing as He kill even the innocent children and babies of that day.

    Even the slaughter of the animals. If I tried to drown an animal today and was caught, all hell would come down on me but God can genocide their ass and that is just GOOD justice. Go figure.

    Keep up the good thinking friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    skeptic, you're points aren't on target. You are taking an arbitrary concept of better in regards to law. Human needs don't change. Human desire does. Laws should accommodate the needs, not the desires.
    What need is being met when religion commands that we not wear two different blends of clothing or that we not eat shell fish?

    What need is being met when we are told to discriminate and denigrate Gays?

    Regards
    DL
    Read my whole post next time please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    over 99.9% of all species on earth are extinct. What's your point? Species die out all the time, and in no way are humans going to end all life on earth. Biologically speaking, there should be no laws on it, no. I'm not saying biblical laws are perfect, and neither is Ophi, but they are not 'inferior' to current laws, and in the eyes of Human needs, none of what you are bringing up matters.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    skeptic, you're points aren't on target. You are taking an arbitrary concept of better in regards to law. Human needs don't change. Human desire does. Laws should accommodate the needs, not the desires.
    What need is being met when religion commands that we not wear two different blends of clothing or that we not eat shell fish?

    What need is being met when we are told to discriminate and denigrate Gays?

    Regards
    DL
    Read my whole post next time please.

    quote]
    Sorry that my question was too hard for you and forced you to react in the usual Christian way. Evasion or attack.

    Regards
    DL
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    You assume I'm a christian? That's quite silly of you. I'm not defending Old Christian law, more the idea that Unchanging, absolute laws are potentially better than ever changing laws. Some of the OT laws are, in all reality, justifiable and timeless. Some aren't either of those two things.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Nothing is timeless. Everything must be flexible and adaptable - subject to change as required.

    Even something as "timeless" as the command - Thou shalt not kill - has proved to be, of necessity, flexible. Does the Texas executioner with his syringe of toxin obey that law? Do the soldiers in Afghanistan obey that law? No. Even that most basic of laws proved changeable.

    While I am not personally in favour of the death penalty, and I find killings in war distasteful to say the least, I would accept assisted suicide in certain cases as being a form of justifiable killing. If I were requested to administer a painless toxic by someone dying in agony, I would not hesitate. The strange thing is that executions become legal while humanitarian killing is not. People are weird!
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    skeptic,

    I agree with everything in your post. Except I would use the adjective 'complex' to describe people rather than 'wierd'.

    Society has too many competing variables to be shoe-horned into the simplicity of Christian religion. There isn't always a 'right vs wrong' or black and white solution. Christian mythology is steeped in simplistic imagery of 'good vs evil'...Jesus on one side and the devil on the other. 'With us or against us'...Heaven and Hell. Drink the Kool-aid or be condemned for eternity. The mythology had it's place in nomadic or agrarian societies. Fortunately it's been pushed aside in modern western societies and delegated to cultural rituals that one can partake or not in.
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    skeptic, in that particular commandment, it is more implied "thou shalt not murder" than simply kill. You really mustn't believe that the strict translations of ancient Hebrew are how the laws were meant to be interpreted. It is quite likely that the people of the ancient world had the same mindset, that you only kill when necessary, and thought that the law should prohibit unwarranted killing (i.e. Murder). Try not to confound the bits of this that we are discussing, as it just makes the whole thing messy.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    You assume I'm a christian? That's quite silly of you. I'm not defending Old Christian law, more the idea that Unchanging, absolute laws are potentially better than ever changing laws. Some of the OT laws are, in all reality, justifiable and timeless. Some aren't either of those two things.
    Could we have an example or three of these timeless laws?
    Perhaps a small explanation of each.

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    Through a slight rewording, we have "Thou Shalt Not Unjustly Kill": Which can be more simplified to 'Commit No Unjust Harm'. If you have no justifiable reason (your life doesn't depend on it, you are in no danger of being hurt yourself, it's not self defense, etc.) you should not be hurting other people. "Thou Shalt Not Unjustly Steal." Again, I add the modifier for morality's sake, i.e. unless your life depends on it. But theft and murder are universally timeless laws that, in all right, only have few exceptions, regardless of when you live, is that not agreeable? The God related commandments, iirc there are 4, are silly and pointless. However, morally, the others aren't far off the mark, and are still around today in one form or another.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Through a slight rewording, we have "Thou Shalt Not Unjustly Kill": Which can be more simplified to 'Commit No Unjust Harm'. If you have no justifiable reason (your life doesn't depend on it, you are in no danger of being hurt yourself, it's not self defense, etc.) you should not be hurting other people. "Thou Shalt Not Unjustly Steal." Again, I add the modifier for morality's sake, i.e. unless your life depends on it. But theft and murder are universally timeless laws that, in all right, only have few exceptions, regardless of when you live, is that not agreeable? The God related commandments, iirc there are 4, are silly and pointless. However, morally, the others aren't far off the mark, and are still around today in one form or another.
    You sneak.

    And here I was all ready to jump all over those laws as written.
    I agree with the spirit of those laws.

    I was wondering if you were going to use the honor thy father and mother one and was going to be all over you for it as well.

    I thought that one as not so bad until I did some research in abuse in the home.
    At that time, something like 60% of fathers and step fathers abused their children and up to 30% of it was sexual abuse of various kinds.
    We all have to thank our biological parents for putting us here but as to honor, no.
    Not unless they earn it.

    As to unjust killing, do you consider the genocide of Noah's day just killings or unjust killings?

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    We must remember that Old Testament law goes way beyond the Ten Commandments. There are numerous laws telling us of a wide range of people we should kill, and often in painful ways such as stonings. eg. Faithless sons, homosexuals, witches, adulteresses. etc.

    There are laws that forbid us from eating a wide range of valuable foods. For example : I am not permitted to eat cultivated mussels, because it comes from the sea and does not have fins. However, my body needs omega 3 fatty acids for good health, which normally comes from fish, and the fish stocks are rapidly being depleted. Eating fish is an environmental crime. But cultivated mussels are even richer in omega 3 and are an entirely sustainable source of food. Eating mussels is illegal by Old Testament law, but could be a vitally important method of remaining healthy without depleting vanishing fish stocks.
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    THOSE ot laws are, certainly, dated. But, in the time they were stuck, had a purpose, and I hope you understand that. I'm not going to say all old laws are good, nor am I saying that even half of them are good and necessary. But the laws that should be laws, the necessary ones, are unchanging (mostly). Murder, Rape, Violent crime in general should be one of those unchanging laws that is clear-cut and defined. Likewise with the laws on adultery, theft, and covetousness, with some modifications from it's Old Testament origin. The wording has been so heavily translated that it is likely that they meant something more discreet and meaningful than they do now in the translated version, plus the simplicity of them is what makes them so vastly useful.

    I do not explicitly agree with capitol punishment, though I heavily support banishment and the 'eye for an eye' justice system, when tweaked enough to make it usable. The concept of 'two wrongs don't make a right' is amiable, and in all reality desired, but in terms of justice, that doesn't often give the justice that should be dealt out. A crime deserves a punishment of equal voracity, to deter others from committing the crime and instill a sense of justice and equality in those involved in the act. Can we agree on this?
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    To Arcane.

    Re punishments.

    I do not even like the word 'punishment'.
    In my opinion, we need to look hard at the reason why we treat convicted criminals in the way we do. What is our goal?

    In my opinion, the goal should be to reduce further crime in the most effective way possible. I am not impressed by those seeking revenge, or those who think we have to heavily punish someone to make victims feel better. We need to treat criminals in such a way as to cut the crime rate. That would appear to be the only worthy goal.

    To determine the best way, we have to look at proper scientific studies of the results of various approaches. I am not a penologist, and so I am not fully aware of all such studies. I do know, for example, that the deterrence principle is flawed. Criminals are not truly deterred from committing crimes by the fact that the punishment, when caught, is severe. What deters them, rather, is the knowledge that they will get caught. Effective policing rather than threats.

    Think of young men who drive too fast and too recklessly. Is the knowledge that they may kill themselves a deterrent? No. Instead, the knowledge that there is a policeman with a radar gun likely around the next corner, and a stiff financial penalty, will do the trick.

    Recidivist criminals need to be locked up, and not released until we have very good reason to believe they will not reoffend. In many cases, this means never being released. The goal of cutting crime is thus achieved.

    Imprisonment and punishment is necessary, but must be directed at achieving the goal - not at satisfying an emotional need for revenge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    To Arcane.

    Re punishments.

    I do not even like the word 'punishment'.
    In my opinion, we need to look hard at the reason why we treat convicted criminals in the way we do. What is our goal?

    In my opinion, the goal should be to reduce further crime in the most effective way possible. I am not impressed by those seeking revenge, or those who think we have to heavily punish someone to make victims feel better. We need to treat criminals in such a way as to cut the crime rate. That would appear to be the only worthy goal.

    To determine the best way, we have to look at proper scientific studies of the results of various approaches. I am not a penologist, and so I am not fully aware of all such studies. I do know, for example, that the deterrence principle is flawed. Criminals are not truly deterred from committing crimes by the fact that the punishment, when caught, is severe. What deters them, rather, is the knowledge that they will get caught. Effective policing rather than threats.

    Think of young men who drive too fast and too recklessly. Is the knowledge that they may kill themselves a deterrent? No. Instead, the knowledge that there is a policeman with a radar gun likely around the next corner, and a stiff financial penalty, will do the trick.

    Recidivist criminals need to be locked up, and not released until we have very good reason to believe they will not reoffend. In many cases, this means never being released. The goal of cutting crime is thus achieved.

    Imprisonment and punishment is necessary, but must be directed at achieving the goal - not at satisfying an emotional need for revenge.
    I think that that emotional need must also be dealt with otherwise people will take the law into their own hands.

    IE.
    I happened to watch the news last night. A driver of a cement truck was found guilty of road rage for killing 5 people. His punishment was a 5 year sentence.
    This is not justice unless you think your life is only worth one years worth of punishment. I do not know if you are worth only one years worth of punishment but even if you are a bastard, I would give you more worth than that.

    If this type of justice becomes common place, I can see the relatives of a victim thinking that if 1 year is all a life is worth then better to kill the perpetrator with vigilante justice and even if caught, WTF is 1 year in jail as opposed to the lack of justice?

    Justice must be seen to be done or it will be done by those not empowered to do it.

    Regards
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I do know, for example, that the deterrence principle is flawed. Criminals are not truly deterred from committing crimes by the fact that the punishment, when caught, is severe. What deters them, rather, is the knowledge that they will get caught. Effective policing rather than threats.
    You "know" that, do you? The basis for every legal system devised by man is punishment. Without a penalty, there is no law, only a suggestion.
    Think of young men who drive too fast and too recklessly. Is the knowledge that they may kill themselves a deterrent? No. Instead, the knowledge that there is a policeman with a radar gun likely around the next corner, and a stiff financial penalty, will do the trick.
    Isn't a stiff financial penalty punishment, i.e., a deterrent? So, what's your point? And what about those who have no money to lose? What deters them?
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    If I may, Harold is correct that punishment can serve as a "deterrent," but I think that the larger point is that punishment does not work as well as reinforcement (whether positive or negative).

    With punishment, there are a few limiting factors... Primarily, the longer the duration between the action and the punishment, the less the lesson is retained... and I'm talking on the order of microseconds here. If we engage in an act, and are shocked within ~400ms, then we will likely refrain from engaging in that same behavior in the future... However, if we engage in an act, and punishment doesn't come for minutes, hours, days, or even months... Then the association between the act and the punishment is practically nonexistent... or, at least severely limited.

    Also, punishment doesn't tend to teach people not to engage in certain behaviors, but instead teaches people how to engage in those behaviors without getting caught. So, as a general rule, the lesson we learn from the punishment approach is NOT to avoid the action, but to learn new ways to do the behavior in secret and with stealth. I cite now the invention of radar detectors.

    The best way to achieve lasting behavioral change is with variably scheduled reinforcement... Positive reinforcement where the "right" or the "good" behaviors are rewarded, and negative reinforcement where the reward comes from the removal of a negative stimulus (like how the buzzing goes away in your car once you click your seatbelt... that's negative reinforcement). If you reinforce using a variable schedule (sometimes the behavior is reinforced, other times it is not), then you get lasting change. By avoiding giving the reward every single time, the person learns to internalize the behavior, and not do it solely for the reward. That way, when the reward goes away, the "good" or "right" behavior remains.


    However, punishment CAN be a deterrent, it's just incredibly limited.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    If I may, Harold is correct that punishment can serve as a "deterrent," but I think that the larger point is that punishment does not work as well as reinforcement (whether positive or negative).

    With punishment, there are a few limiting factors... Primarily, the longer the duration between the action and the punishment, the less the lesson is retained... and I'm talking on the order of microseconds here. If we engage in an act, and are shocked within ~400ms, then we will likely refrain from engaging in that same behavior in the future... However, if we engage in an act, and punishment doesn't come for minutes, hours, days, or even months... Then the association between the act and the punishment is practically nonexistent... or, at least severely limited.

    Also, punishment doesn't tend to teach people not to engage in certain behaviors, but instead teaches people how to engage in those behaviors without getting caught. So, as a general rule, the lesson we learn from the punishment approach is NOT to avoid the action, but to learn new ways to do the behavior in secret and with stealth. I cite now the invention of radar detectors.

    The best way to achieve lasting behavioral change is with variably scheduled reinforcement... Positive reinforcement where the "right" or the "good" behaviors are rewarded, and negative reinforcement where the reward comes from the removal of a negative stimulus (like how the buzzing goes away in your car once you click your seatbelt... that's negative reinforcement). If you reinforce using a variable schedule (sometimes the behavior is reinforced, other times it is not), then you get lasting change. By avoiding giving the reward every single time, the person learns to internalize the behavior, and not do it solely for the reward. That way, when the reward goes away, the "good" or "right" behavior remains.


    However, punishment CAN be a deterrent, it's just incredibly limited.
    Okay, what's the difference between punishment and negative reinforcement?

    Do you have any practical suggestions? I guess if we could put the criminals in cages and feed them food pellets, or something, for the correct behavior, or give them an electric shock, we'd have the problem licked.
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    Sadly, Humans aren't as programmable as dogs. Pavlov would have loved to get his hands on some convicts, to toy with them and see what he could do. And, supposing that you are right on behavior, it doesn't account for desire. Your method of deterrence will take care of probably 70-80% of criminals, but only those who aren't truly wanting to commit the crime, and commit it out of convenience or passion. The other filth won't stop. A stun gun or pepper spray should be deterrence enough from going towards someone, but it only works on those who aren't dedicated to committing that crime. The threat of a severe punishment and a high chance of getting caught will, in many of those dedicated criminals, deter them further than a simple conditioned behavioral change. A man who wants to Rape a girl, may withstand the thought of being caught in favor of the act, if he believes that all that will happen is a 5-20 year sentence, maybe a fine. That person may fight his way through being pepper sprayed by the girl, and continue the action; if he does that, I can guarantee no ideal of 'being caught' will deter him. How about the threat of castration? I'm willing to bet that if he knows he'll be caught, and then castrated, he'd think twice. I'd also push for banishment, of all serious violent offenses, to remove the person from society. No jail time. Jail is only useful for a non-violent offense, like petty theft.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Okay, what's the difference between punishment and negative reinforcement?
    Negative reinforcement is the removal of an annoying or distasteful stimulus. Negative reinforcement tends to strengthen a behavior because a negative condition is stopped or avoided as a consequence of the behavior. In the example I offered above, most of us are familiar with this every time we start our car. (In most models) There is an annoying buzzing sound which will not stop until you fasten your safety belt. Once you click the belt it, the buzzing stops. This is negative reinforcement.

    Punishment, on the other hand, tries to change (or weaken) a behavior by introducing a negative condition, or by subjecting the individual to a negative experience, as a consequence of that behavior.

    The first changes behavior by removing the negative stimulus.
    The second changes behavior by introducing a negative stimulus.

    Studies repeatedly show that punishment is not as effective as reinforcement, primarily (as I mentioned above) since punishment tends to teach us how to get away with the behavior, not to stop doing it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Do you have any practical suggestions?
    That's a very fair question, and a difficult one to answer. I'd say we do what we can to positively reinforce the behaviors we seek to encourage... such as the recent trend with Allstate auto insurance how they decrease your premiums each year you go without an accident. Things like that.

    All approaches are limited, I was just trying to shed some light on the point you put forth above to skeptic.
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    Your cement truck driver example. This illustrates what I am trying to say. The guy killed 5 people, and your emotional response is to want to deliver a massive punishment. That is not justice. It is revenge. And it is driven by the most unworthy emotion. In fact, previous cases similar to this one show that the probability of him ever committing another homicide is almost zero. If the goal is to stop a further killing, it really makes little difference whether he gets 5 years in prison, or 25 lifetimes.

    "Justice" is another of those words I hate. Because it has different individual meanings for every person, and this stops it being a useful term for communicating ideas. I would like there to be a word that means "action taken to reduce the probability of future crimes being committed", because that is the goal.

    A recent news item was of a High Court judge who claims we should release half the jail population, on the grounds that deterrence does not work and there is no rehabilitation in prison. Both these points are correct.

    The problem is, of course, that those prisoners will commit more crimes after release, and the goal is thwarted. Prison, IMHO, has the primary function of putting nasty bastards into a place where they cannot commit crimes. The real question then becomes, why do we let them go?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    To Greatest I Am

    Your cement truck driver example. This illustrates what I am trying to say. The guy killed 5 people, and your emotional response is to want to deliver a massive punishment. That is not justice. It is revenge. And it is driven by the most unworthy emotion. In fact, previous cases similar to this one show that the probability of him ever committing another homicide is almost zero. If the goal is to stop a further killing, it really makes little difference whether he gets 5 years in prison, or 25 lifetimes.
    Is "unworthy" a scientific term, or are you exercising a value judgment? Where do you get that value from? How do you know it makes little difference? If the object is to deter others from committing the same crime, I would assume it does make a difference. Otherwise, there would be no purpose to having the law in the first place.
    Do you think that the emotional response we all feel might have served a useful purpose to individuals or society in the past. If not, then how did it develop or evolve? If so, then what is different now such that it no longer serves that purpose?

    A recent news item was of a High Court judge who claims we should release half the jail population, on the grounds that deterrence does not work and there is no rehabilitation in prison. Both these points are correct.
    A high court judge who does not believe in the law is in the wrong line of work.
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    As I mentioned before, studies show that degree of punishment does not correlate with deterrence. However, degree of policing does. If a person is contemplating a crime, they will commit said crime if they think they can get away with it. If they believe that, it does not matter what the level of punishment is. If they believe they will not get caught, then they are not worried about the punishment.

    On the other hand, if would-be criminals believe they are likely to get caught, they will not commit the crime. As stated earlier, if a young man wants to drive his car recklessly and at excess speed, he will refrain only if he believes he will get caught. The presense of police patrolling the roads with radar guns is what will deter the young man - not the fact that the fine for speeding has just been increased.

    You asked the point of human emotions demanding retribution. I suspect these were of value in the old tribal hunter-gatherer days, where an offender against tribal laws would nearly always be caught, due to the closeness of human relationships. If retribution is dealt out, then there is deterrence. But the key point here is the almost certainty of getting caught. The actual nature of the retribution would be of lesser import.

    I doubt that the retribution-demaning emotion has any value in today's world. Quite the contrary. I believe that dealing with offenders should be carefully thought out, using rational thinking, rather than emotional logic.
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    When you consider killing someone, are you looking at that consideration logically, or emotionally? Further, your studies on the effectiveness of policing versus punishment, where did they come from? How were the studies conducted? Could you please cite the source in which you found the studies?
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    I cannot cite my original reference, since I read that some years ago. Below is a reference for marijuana studies showing deterrence after police gave threats for females, but the reverse for males . Since males are the primary offenders, the net result is that threats of punishment actually increased the offending rate. Higher penalties failed to work.
    http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/co...tract/29/4/336

    A more detailed review of deterrence (imprisonment) is given in the reference below, which concludes it is ineffective.
    http://web.viu.ca/crim/Student/S%20W...e%20Theory.pdf

    However, there are many studies that show that an increased police presense in high crime areas does reduce the incidence of crime. Thus, the expectation of getting caught is a deterrent, whereas increasing punishment is not.
    The reference below shows the impact of police crack-downs in reducing crime. Sometimes the effects last longer than the crack-down itself.
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/1147437
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I cannot cite my original reference, since I read that some years ago. Below is a reference for marijuana studies showing deterrence after police gave threats for females, but the reverse for males . Since males are the primary offenders, the net result is that threats of punishment actually increased the offending rate. Higher penalties failed to work.
    http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/co...tract/29/4/336
    Actually, skeptic, the link you provide states that "marijuana use is a direct predictor of contact with the police" and that females are risk aversive, meaning the don't want to be caught and avoid situations where they may get caught. Males, in this study, are said to be more inclined to take risks. This actually counters your argument, where the risk of being caught is actually increasing male use. nothing on the site ever talks about punishment nor repercussive actions.

    A more detailed review of deterrence (imprisonment) is given in the reference below, which concludes it is ineffective.
    http://web.viu.ca/crim/Student/S%20W...e%20Theory.pdf
    I'll be honest, I only skimmed it, but what I skimmed didn't really support nor attack either of our arguments. It appears as if the law student has an idealist view of crime as well, and seemed to report mostly on that which supported his argument, while not viewing the counter argument critically. I'll grant this as neutral, until I read the whole thing tomorrow, with fresher eyes.

    However, there are many studies that show that an increased police presense in high crime areas does reduce the incidence of crime. Thus, the expectation of getting caught is a deterrent, whereas increasing punishment is not.
    The reference below shows the impact of police crack-downs in reducing crime. Sometimes the effects last longer than the crack-down itself.
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/1147437
    Okay, according to the abstract, the long crackdowns actually see crime return faster than the short ones, in spite of increased police presence, countering your argument again. Short crackdowns, where the police tend to disappear quicker, saw longer effects. The whole article may have a different swing, but I'm saddened to say I won't be buying it, so I don't know.

    That's 2/3 examples that you provided that countered your argument, and was neutral to mine. Are you sure I'm wrong, or do you have an emotional and irrational response to punishment?
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    I believe you misinterpret those references. The first one, about marijuana use, is not about the risk of being caught. It is about a response to a threat of punishment. A threat does not work, because the users do not expect to get caught.

    The second reference contains a clear cut statement that deterrence does not work. Perhaps you did not read far enough.

    The third one shows increased policing reduces crime. Sure, crime increases again after the policing is cut. Naturally. But more policing reduces crime. That is the point.
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    I can see you didn't read your sources... The first one has to do with getting caught, not punishment. Contact with the police has absolutely nothing to do with threat of punishment, it has to do with getting caught. And guess what, in that page, it says males are much more likely to do it, if there's a risk of getting caught. As a matter of fact, it said there is a direct relationship about the likelyhood of being caught with the desire to do the action. Females is a negative relation, males a positive.

    The second is a paper by a law student prepared for his criminology class. It is not a document of mass respect.

    The third clearly states that "In most long-term crackdowns with apparent initial deterrence, however, the effects began to decay after a short period, sometimes despite continued dosage of police presence or even increased dosage of police sanctions." Meaning that more police didn't keep crime down... Point out how I'm wrong on this point?

    I'm not going to purchase the full articles, as you may have, but the abstracts detract from your argument.
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    Honestly, Arcane... Most of what skeptic is saying is very well supported by all of the literature regarding basic operant conditioning. I'm struggling to understand why you are pushing so hard on this particular point about punishment since it's been so firmly established for so very long.
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    Since I lost my original reference I am looking for alternatives. They are not always pertinent to the point, which is why you are able to dissect and criticise them. Here is another statement.
    http://www.delmar.edu/socsci/rlong/intro/crime.htm

    "Deterrence
    Most of our police forces operate under a philosophy called deterrence theory. Deterrence theory contends that if the public knows the consequences of deviance, many individuals will not commit a crime. "Through punishment, corrections serve to deter the offender from deviating again and it scares others who might be tempted into crime" (Robertson, 1989:129). There are three aspects of deterrence theory. In order for deterrence to be successful each aspect should be true.

    The individual has to know what the law states. Without clear knowledge of the law, the individual cannot know he/she is in the process of violating the law.
    The potential offender must know what the punishment is. How tough will the punishment be? It makes a difference to a potential bank robber when planning a holdup whether the penalty is 1 year or 20 years in prison. Likewise, is a white-collar criminal is relatively sure that they will get a light punishment, they might be more inclined to embezzle from a bank or to use substandard building material.
    Will an offender receive punishment? If punishment is certain, then the philosophy of deterrence comes closer to achieving its goals. If, on the other hand, one is relatively sure that they will not be punished, deterrence is not achieved.
    Critique of Deterrence Theory: The current system of criminal justice demonstrates none of these characteristics. The law is too complex, the severity of punishment depends on the jurisdiction (city, state, federal), and it depends on social class."


    The bit in bold was emboldened by me. Hopefully that is a clear cut statement by an expert that you will accept to show the failure of deterrence.
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    I accept that as a viable source, but it doesn't show the failure of deterrence. It shows how we have failed to implement deterrence. You are arguing about the justice system implementing the idea, not the idea itself. Yes, the US law system is FUBAR. I was never arguing for the US law system, but actually, I was arguing against it. You haven't attacked my opinion, and in all right, you haven't even really supported your own against me. I think restating your point right now may be a good idea, because not once have you shown that Deterrence doesn't work, only that people don't understand how to use it.

    inow, It hasn't been established, and operant conditioning isn't as easy as you believe it is. The human mind is fantastic, and has this weird ability to resist obvious conditioning. While the ability to condition an individual to commit no crime, in the method that I believe you mentioned earlier, would be great, it's highly impractical and near impossible to implement globally if even locally possible. A closed community would have a hard time implementing a form of classical conditioning on the entire population.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    operant conditioning isn't as easy as you believe it is. The human mind is fantastic, and has this weird ability to resist obvious conditioning.
    The interesting thing about this quote it that it also works against your argument supporting punishment as a deterrent, so it's not really helpful in that regard.

    I understand and agree with your points about practicality. I have just been curious as to the tone of your posts toward skeptic, and was really challenging that more than anything else.
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    We seem to have moved a long way off secular law vs Gods law.

    The point I am trying to make is that deterrence as a means of reducing crime fails. More specifically, increasing punishments do not reduce crime rates. People do not commit crimes thinking they will be caught and punished. They commit crimes thinking they will get away with it, and not get punished. Hence increasing the punishment does not reduce crime rates.

    There is another kind of crime, of course. That is crimes of impulse or passion. Since no thought goes into committing these crimes before the fact, the severity of punishment is also not an effective deterrent.

    Your last note implies that changing the way we implement deterrence might make it work better. Is that correct? If so, perhaps you might like to suggest the method.

    I have already suggested how we can improve it. That is, to improve policing, so that would-be criminals will believe they were very likely to get caught and punished. The actual severity of the punishment is much less important than the perception of likelihood of getting punished.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The point I am trying to make is that deterrence as a means of reducing crime fails. More specifically, increasing punishments do not reduce crime rates. People do not commit crimes thinking they will be caught and punished. They commit crimes thinking they will get away with it, and not get punished. Hence increasing the punishment does not reduce crime rates.
    Case in point:
    The murder rate tends to be higher... nearly every year... in states with the death penalty than it is in states without... or, in states which use it less often.

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-1996-2008
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_i..._States#States
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Your last note implies that changing the way we implement deterrence might make it work better. Is that correct? If so, perhaps you might like to suggest the method.
    Gladly.

    We eliminate Law book that we currently have and implement a system that relies on much few, much more encompassing laws with few exceptions that are not open to interpretation. Also, we need to put 99% of lawyers out of business, so that only broad things are considered in law rather than the minute details, through whcih more money and time can be saved on the cases involving people who wish to contest that they have broken a law. Severity of punishment is very important. For a rapist, torturer or a murderer, a two-fold Castration and Banishment should be entailed. For serious violent offenses Banishment is very doable, and for minor violence and non-violent crimes we use incarceration.

    I can go into more detail if you'd like, but I'm sure you get the idea from this.

    inow, Conditioning is done on an individual to curve the behavior of said individual. Never do you impose conditioning on a child to implement change in another. Watching a person die from eating a berry is VERY likely to prevent you from eating the same berry, which is learnt by proxy behavior, and not a conditioned behavior. While you are right, my statement is counter-intuitive to my argument, it isn't exactly what I'm arguing for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Harold

    As I mentioned before, studies show that degree of punishment does not correlate with deterrence. However, degree of policing does. If a person is contemplating a crime, they will commit said crime if they think they can get away with it. If they believe that, it does not matter what the level of punishment is. If they believe they will not get caught, then they are not worried about the punishment.

    On the other hand, if would-be criminals believe they are likely to get caught, they will not commit the crime. As stated earlier, if a young man wants to drive his car recklessly and at excess speed, he will refrain only if he believes he will get caught. The presense of police patrolling the roads with radar guns is what will deter the young man - not the fact that the fine for speeding has just been increased.

    You asked the point of human emotions demanding retribution. I suspect these were of value in the old tribal hunter-gatherer days, where an offender against tribal laws would nearly always be caught, due to the closeness of human relationships. If retribution is dealt out, then there is deterrence. But the key point here is the almost certainty of getting caught. The actual nature of the retribution would be of lesser import.

    I doubt that the retribution-demaning emotion has any value in today's world. Quite the contrary. I believe that dealing with offenders should be carefully thought out, using rational thinking, rather than emotional logic.
    There is really only one theory of law, and that is deterrence. To argue that punishment does not deter crime is ridiculous. The logical extension is to repeal all laws becaue they don't work. As I said before, without a penalty there isn't even any law; it's just a suggestion.

    Your argument against harsh penalties and for more policing is a false choice. Why not have both?

    Human behavior is too complex. The studies you refer to cannot control for all the factors that go into behavior. If there really is a study that says the severity of punishment does not matter, I call BS on that. It just goes against common sense and normal every day experience. Do you really mean to tell me that somebody in a Muslim country, where they cut your hand off for stealing, would not think an extra two or three times before committing that particular crime?

    Your argument about the hunter-gatherers does not hold water. If the hunter-gatherer was sure to catch the offender, then a mere reprimand would be more than sufficient. That's according to your theory where the severity of the punishment does not matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Case in point:
    The murder rate tends to be higher... nearly every year... in states with the death penalty than it is in states without... or, in states which use it less often.

    Correlation does not equal causation. Maybe the citizens of high crime areas tend to support harher penalties.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    If there really is a study that says the severity of punishment does not matter, I call BS on that. It just goes against common sense and normal every day experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Case in point:
    The murder rate tends to be higher... nearly every year... in states with the death penalty than it is in states without... or, in states which use it less often.
    Correlation does not equal causation. Maybe the citizens of high crime areas tend to support harher penalties.
    I was not arguing causation. I was showing how the argument that more severe punishment results in less crime is readily countered by numerous examples, as in the case of the death penalty.

    As I argued above, and as supported by decades of literature in the field of operant conditioning, punishment tends more often to teach people how to avoid getting caught than it teaches them not to engage in the behavior itself. Sure, punishment will deter some, and those who are rational will likely do a cost/benefit analysis accounting for the severity of the punishment, but that number (as a percentage) is unrepresentative of the larger population of crimes and criminals.

    I understand the impracticality of other methods of reinforcement, and wish to remind you that nobody is arguing that punishment does not deter anyone, but it's important to recognize the extreme limitations of punishment as described above.

    Skeptic is quite right. The punishment and its severity are not the primary variables in all of this... It's the likelihood of being caught which ultimately matters in the mind of the person considering committing the crime (or, their own internal sense of right and wrong, but that's something for another thread, perhaps). I'm not saying that severity of punishment and likelihood of capture are mutually exclusive, just reminding you which variable plays the larger role in behavioral outcome.


    Finally, lots of things go against common sense (like relativity and QM and c being constant in all reference frames), but the fact that we limited/feeble minded humans struggle to understand the dynamics of something does not negate it's truth, accuracy, nor how it fits with the reality in which we exist.
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    [quote="Harold14370"][quote="inow"]

    Okay, what's the difference between punishment and negative reinforcement?

    Somewhat like discipline and punishment.

    I discipline a dog by disagreeing with it's actions. I punish it with a kick.


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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
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    Your cement truck driver example. This illustrates what I am trying to say. The guy killed 5 people, and your emotional response is to want to deliver a massive punishment. That is not justice. It is revenge. And it is driven by the most unworthy emotion. In fact, previous cases similar to this one show that the probability of him ever committing another homicide is almost zero. If the goal is to stop a further killing, it really makes little difference whether he gets 5 years in prison, or 25 lifetimes.

    "Justice" is another of those words I hate. Because it has different individual meanings for every person, and this stops it being a useful term for communicating ideas. I would like there to be a word that means "action taken to reduce the probability of future crimes being committed", because that is the goal.

    A recent news item was of a High Court judge who claims we should release half the jail population, on the grounds that deterrence does not work and there is no rehabilitation in prison. Both these points are correct.

    The problem is, of course, that those prisoners will commit more crimes after release, and the goal is thwarted. Prison, IMHO, has the primary function of putting nasty bastards into a place where they cannot commit crimes. The real question then becomes, why do we let them go?
    I agree on the fact that the desire for justice is an emotionally driven desire.
    It is the penalties that we seek that are logically reached, based on our over all moral thinking.

    To me, it is illogical for the death of a human being to be pegged at one yeas in prison. If we are to be seen as venerating life then surely that is too cheep a price to pay for taking one.

    The concept of justice would likely not exist without the desire for retribution and vengeance which aere as I say, are emotionaly driven. Emotion is what raises us above the baser animals.

    If one is not offended in some way emotionaly, they do not desire vengeance or justice.

    Regards
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Arcane

    I believe you misinterpret those references. The first one, about marijuana use, is not about the risk of being caught. It is about a response to a threat of punishment. A threat does not work, because the users do not expect to get caught.

    The second reference contains a clear cut statement that deterrence does not work. Perhaps you did not read far enough.

    The third one shows increased policing reduces crime. Sure, crime increases again after the policing is cut. Naturally. But more policing reduces crime. That is the point.
    You may be right on that last point but it may not be relevant. People at present do not want to pay for more guards etc. They are not likely to want to pay for more police either.
    In our systems, it is easier to justify paying a guard than it is for paying more police.

    A catch 22.

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    DL
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    I understand the impracticality of other methods of reinforcement, and wish to remind you that nobody is arguing that punishment does not deter anyone, but it's important to recognize the extreme limitations of punishment as described above.
    Really? I could have sworn skeptic said he agreed with a judge that half the prisoners should be turned loose because deterrence doesn't work nor does rehabilitation. Come to think of it, why just half?
    Finally, lots of things go against common sense (like relativity and QM and c being constant in all reference frames), but the fact that we limited/feeble minded humans struggle to understand the dynamics of something does not negate it's truth, accuracy, nor how it fits with the reality in which we exist.
    I don't think the social sciences have quite reached the status of relativity or QM. In fact, they are barely even science.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    I discipline a dog by disagreeing with it's actions. I punish it with a kick.


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    That's funny. I often disagree with my dog's actions. It doesn't seem to have much effect.
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    Harold

    I did NOT say I agreed with releasing half the prisoners. I said I agree with the statements about deterrence and rehabilitation.

    I am a definite believer in goal centred action. When we convict a criminal, we need to be very clear about what goal we are trying to achieve. Since we know that heavy punishment does not work as a deterrent, and we know that prisons do not rehabilitate, we canot use those as goals.

    However, there are other goals that may be more useful. For example : it is well known that young men are the worst offenders, and their offending rate drops dramatically after the age of 30. So if may be a useful action to remove a young man from society, stopping him harming society, until the age of 30. This does not guarantee the goal is met for each individual, but will reduce crime overall.

    Recidivist criminals may need to be removed from society long term, to protect society. That is also useful, and the reason I did not agree with that judge. It costs, on average, about $ 100,000 per criminal per year to keep them in prison. So, if they cause more than $ 100,000 per year damage to society, it is better to keep them in prison.

    For crimes of violence, we may need to assign a financial value for the damage of those crimes, as best we can. eg. Rape may cause 10 years trauma to a woman. Allow $ 50,000 per year as damage, ($ 500,000 total) and it is calculable that it is worth keeping a felon in prison if it stops one or more rapes each 5 years. A serious rapist will rape far more frequently than this, and thus should be in prison until he is so old that he is beyond it.

    We also need to take such action as is needed to convince would-be criminals that they are most likely going to get caught after their crime. This is normally done by increasing the numbers and efficiency of the police. eg. The 'broken glass' strategy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    I understand the impracticality of other methods of reinforcement, and wish to remind you that nobody is arguing that punishment does not deter anyone, but it's important to recognize the extreme limitations of punishment as described above.
    Really? I could have sworn skeptic said he agreed with a judge that half the prisoners should be turned loose because deterrence doesn't work nor does rehabilitation. Come to think of it, why just half?
    Harold - You seem to have badly misunderstood his point. You might want to review it once more.

    EDIT: Never mind, I see skeptic has already posted and clarified exactly that.



    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I don't think the social sciences have quite reached the status of relativity or QM.
    Nor do I.
    This time, you seem to have badly misunderstood my point, which was a challenge to your assertion that some of the arguments regarding punishment being put forth in this thread went against your "common sense."

    Maybe you'd have grasped what I was saying had I instead responded to your "it goes against common sense" dismissal by instead saying, "So the hell what?" I thought perhaps I'd instead try being civil, and give examples anyone could grasp (such as QM and relativity going against "common sense."). It appears perhaps that was a silly choice. Mea culpa.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    In fact, they [social sciences] are barely even science.
    Well, you're welcome to your own opinions, but not your own facts. The simple truth is that they ARE a science, despite your personal feelings to the contrary. It's somewhat sad that you would make a comment such as that, and just completely shit on the work which has been conducted for decades by countless passionate, dedicated, and diligent researchers following rigid standards fully inline with the scientific method.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    EDIT: Never mind, I see skeptic has already posted and clarified exactly that.
    I'm afraid I miss the fine distinction you and he are trying to make. Here's what he wrote.
    A recent news item was of a High Court judge who claims we should release half the jail population, on the grounds that deterrence does not work and there is no rehabilitation in prison. Both these points are correct.
    Well, you're welcome to your own opinions, but not your own facts. The simple truth is that they ARE a science, despite your personal feelings to the contrary. It's somewhat sad that you would make a comment such as that, and just completely shit on the work which has been conducted for decades by countless passionate, dedicated, and diligent researchers following rigid standards fully inline with the scientific method.
    It's not their fault. Humans are just not that uniform, predictable, or repeatable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I did NOT say I agreed with releasing half the prisoners. I said I agree with the statements about deterrence and rehabilitation.

    I am a definite believer in goal centred action. When we convict a criminal, we need to be very clear about what goal we are trying to achieve. Since we know that heavy punishment does not work as a deterrent, and we know that prisons do not rehabilitate, we canot use those as goals.
    And I think this helps get us to one of the central themes about which we've been going back and forth these last several posts.

    The focus needs to be on rehabilitation... That is a worthy goal to set and toward which we should strive. Efforts to simply punish offenders tend to be wasted
    efforts, which becomes especially clear once people review the recidivism rates.

    In my estimation, one of the major challenges is that people don't tend to want rehabilitation... they tend to want retribution and even sometimes revenge... hence, punishment based systems appear to them to be the right approach.

    I'll try to bring us all back onto common paths by suggesting that... the thing to remember... is that none of these approaches on their own will suffice. It's going to take some combination of intelligent and interconnected approaches to really ameliorate the problems... to help us get closer to the actual "goal" we all seek.

    There are three traditional ideas in this arena of crime treatment: Retribution; Deterrence; and Reformation. My stance regarding the primary points being shared here is that we need to focus more on deterrence and reformation (rehabilitation), especially since punishment as a conditioning agent is so limited in utility and efficacy.



    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    We also need to take such action as is needed to convince would-be criminals that they are most likely going to get caught after their crime. This is normally done by increasing the numbers and efficiency of the police. eg. The 'broken glass' strategy.
    Again, I agree. Based on my understanding of the work done in this field, the deterrent lies primarily in the idea of being caught, not in the idea of penal severity.

    I also appreciate you reminding me about the broken glass concept... whereby it's best to fix single broken panes quickly, as it will deter people from breaking more. However, seeing existing broken panes makes potential offenders more likely to throw stones and break more (or, engage in even more destructive acts since the environment primes them toward such behaviors). By merely fixing the panes quickly, you provide a huge impact and significant reduction of future crimes.

    The same concept applies with litter. By simply picking up trash when you see, you decrease the likelihood that people will throw down more trash to that area in the future. However, if you don't pick up the trash, and it is allowed to remain and pile up, others will be much more disposed to add to the mess themselves without a second thought... the basic underlying logic being, "What does it really matter if I toss my litter there, too? It's already full of trash from others."

    The same principles apply to humans, and to neighborhoods. If you have effective enforcement, and the threat of being caught is at the fore, more people will be deterred. On top of this, seeing how other "criminals" have been so handily "cleaned up" will magnify the deterrent effect. Enforcement is key, and rehabilitation after capture (not just punishment) is the rhetorical "lock" into which it fits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    I discipline a dog by disagreeing with it's actions. I punish it with a kick.


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    DL
    That's funny. I often disagree with my dog's actions. It doesn't seem to have much effect.
    You have to speak his language. That language is silent. No words are required.

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    DL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    I discipline a dog by disagreeing with it's actions. I punish it with a kick.


    Regards
    DL
    That's funny. I often disagree with my dog's actions. It doesn't seem to have much effect.
    You have to speak his language. That language is silent. No words are required.

    Regards
    DL
    You communicate with your dog by mental telepathy?
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  82. #81  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    I discipline a dog by disagreeing with it's actions. I punish it with a kick.


    Regards
    DL
    That's funny. I often disagree with my dog's actions. It doesn't seem to have much effect.
    You have to speak his language. That language is silent. No words are required.

    Regards
    DL
    You communicate with your dog by mental telepathy?
    No. Body language and aptitude.

    Regards
    DL
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